More Gentiles died in the Holocaust and WWII than Jews
Q. I had a guest this weekend that I asked this question to and he gave me an answer that really made my heart spin.
The question was, "The Jews that died in the holocaust, did they or are they going to Heaven?" His response was "No, they are all in hell because they were not saved in the glory of Jesus."
Well this gentleman was a Jew till he was brought to Christ and is now a Baptist minister in the ministry of converting Jews to Jesus.
I ask you the same question.
What of the many who died in the Holocaust, will they ever see the love of the Father?
A. Let me first begin by saying this is a complicated question that cannot be so easily answered.
He has a severe misunderstanding of the Lord and His ways and seems rather judgmental. But, let’s take a few things first. You say this gentleman was a Jew, but that is incorrect. He still is a Jew.
Israel as a nation (corporately) rejected the Messiah because they did not recognize Him.
By the first century they accepted rabbinical interpretations about the Messiah over what the Scriptures had said.
So, Yeshua comes along and He didn’t look like or act like what the Rabbis had said He would look and act like.
John 5.39-47 says that if they reject Moses (Scriptures), they will reject Him because he spoke of the Messiah. Now, the answer to any question is always in the question. So, I ask this, what of the many Gentiles that died in the Holocaust, did they or are they going to Heaven?
Gentiles who die in unbelief have the same fate as Jews because you must be born from above (John 3) to enter into salvation, to the Jew first (especially, because they were the first to know, and to whom much is given, much is required), then the Gentile.
I can tell you right now, if your friend is trying to win Jews to Jesus with his judgmental attitude he won’t be very successful.
He might convert a few to a denomination or a movement, but is that what the Lord means by "born again?" I think not. There is more to this than his generalized answer. So, lets get to the heart of the matter.
Israel had a responsibility, a covenantal calling, to follow the Lord and be a witness and a light of understanding to the Gentiles. When they obeyed, they were blessed, when they didn’t God got their attention. That calling has not been revoked and will be fulfilled in the Tribulation period.
That’s why the two witnesses will be Jewish, that’s why the 144,000 will be Jewish. The Holocaust and all the other problems Israel has encountered over the centuries is a warning to repent, but not just for Israel.
Your friend needs to remember things happen to the Jew first (especially, see above) then the Gentiles as the Apostle Paul points out, because they were the first to know the truth and had the Scriptures (Rom 3.1-2.) Let’s go to Luke 13.1-5 and I’m going to illustrate something.
Here, Yeshua gives a warning to repent and will quickly dispel their notion of calamity, a notion your friend and many others seem to share. Yeshua brings up a historical tragedy about some Galileans who were killed while offering sacrifices in the Temple by Pilate and asks if those Galileans were greater sinners because they were killed than other Galileans who weren’t.
Yeshua says "No" and then says it was a warning that if they did not repent they would likewise perish. Well, they did not repent and 40 years later millions were killed when Rome came and destroyed the Temple.
Then He gives another example of where a tower fell and killed 18 people and asks the same thing, were they greater sinners because they died? He again says "No" and warns them to repent or they would likewise perish.
Well, they did not listen and 40 years later not only one tower fell, but many towers fell in the city when Rome destroyed it. The bottom line is, tragedies happen and rather than be judgmental towards the victims we should be examining ourselves and take it as a warning that we need to be right with the Lord and repent of our sins or something worse will happen.
Like in the first century, not just a few people died but millions died because they did not recognize what the Lord was doing and saying in these events. What your friend doesn’t realize is that more Gentiles died in the Holocaust and World War II than Jews.
The word "holocaust" comes from the Greek "holos" which means "burned" and "kaustos" which means "an offering to a god." The Hebrew words for "burn’t offering" is "Korban Olah" and in Greek translations of the Bible Holocaust is used for korban olah.
In a way, those that died were wholly consumed by the fire of God’s judgment and according to God’s purposes as warning to us ,on whom the end of the age has come.
In conclusion, many, not all, Jews perished in unbelief in the holocaust, and they were forever lost, NOT because they were Jews but because they did not believe in the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
But many Jews perished in the United States at the same time and were lost for the same reason. It’s not where or how you perish that determines whether you are lost or not, but it is the condition of your soul with the Lord that determines that.
God chooses how your death may happen, but it is not necessarily an indication of our spiritual condition. It’s like when you get married. It’s not how you get to the wedding that determines whether you are married or not, it’s your heart and who’s waiting for you when you get there that determines it.
The same can be said for many Gentiles who died. Your friend said "they (the Jews) are all in hell" which I take issue with also, he didn’t know every person who did there was an unbeliever.
He should read some books about many Jewish believers who got caught up in it, as well as Gentiles. Like in the first century, Yeshua warned Jerusalem that the city of Jerusalem would be surrounded by Rome and when they saw that, they were to flee the city.
Some did, but many didn’t and got caught inside the walls.Well, in the 1930’s many saw Germany "surrounding" them and fled to the United States and survived, but millions didn’t or couldn’t and also got caught within the walls.
The Holocaust is awarning for the whole world to repent and come to the God of Israel through his Messiah because a greater holocaust is coming, and the false messiah will make Hitler look like a choir boy. This holocaust will not be centered in Europe, but be worldwide.
So I leave your friend with the same admonition. Do you suppose that those that died in the Holocaust were greater sinners than others because they suffered this fate? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will likewise perish. I hope this helps.
Ask your friend to contact me if he wants to talk about this further.